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Fun Ways to Greet Your Elementary School Students

A classroom that makes students feel welcome and comfortable will improve learning results. Teachers often want to have a fun way to greet elementary schoolers as this practice is twofold; one, you want to foster a sense of community in your classroom, and two, you want your students to feel valued each day. Here are fun ways to greet your elementary school students.

Choice Board

A choice board is an excellent tool for any teacher to have in their arsenal. Students who feel that they control their education are far more likely to participate earnestly.

A choice board allows students to express themselves in a variety of ways. Some commonly included choices include high-fives, saying hello, or a simple wave. These are great choices, for sure. But, consider some more outlandish options for your silly students.

Elbow bumps, secret handshakes, and air hugs are fun ideas that may get your shy students to come out of their shells. A great aspect of a choice board is that it allows each student to make a different choice each day. Start every school day with a smile. As the year goes on, you can even add more options related to what you are teaching for the students to select.

Matching Cards

As students enter your class, you can meet them at the door and provide a matching card. Another student will have the other half. Depending on the age of your students, you can do this in a variety of ways. Consider:

  • Cards that fit together like puzzle pieces.
  • Cards with a definition that matches a vocabulary word (this is a great way to practice new vocabulary and spelling words).
  • Cards that have separate halves of an equation. For example, one student may receive a card that says “10,” while another has a card that says “12 - 2.”
  • Cards that have a state capital and others that have the matching state.

With matching cards, the possibilities are endless. Giving a card to students as they enter the room immediately gives them something exciting (and social) to do. This can encourage students to be more social (in an appropriate way) and help to grow your class as a community.

Daily Question

You will need a large whiteboard or poster board near your doorway to do our next activity. As students come in, position yourself next to the board and allow students to answer a multiple-choice question. The question should be fun, not necessarily an academic one. For example:

  • Which ice cream flavor is better? Vanilla, Chocolate, or Swirl
  • Should pizza have pineapples on it? Yes, No, It Depends
  • Which holiday is the best? Christmas, New Year's Eve, 4th of July

As you ask the students for their answers, have them mark their choice with their initials. If you have older students, this is a task they can do on their own when they enter the room. Finally, once all of the students are in class, you can reveal your answer!

A daily question is a great way to talk about something fun and get your students involved. With a new question every day, students will be excited to see what is next. Consider asking about favorites or asking either/or questions to get your students involved. If you're teaching a virtual class, post your question in student-friendly apps like Edmodo for kids to submit their answers. To take it to the next level, you can use the data from your answers to phase into a math lesson.

Compliment Chain

There is nothing like receiving a good compliment! For this activity, all you need is a smile and your students. Start by greeting them at the door with a nice compliment. Then, the student needs to spread the love and pass that compliment on.

Every student needs to compliment another student before this activity is completed. This is a great way to greet elementary schoolers because it helps to increase confidence and further the sense of community you want in your classroom.

To avoid students complimenting their best friends every day, make a rule that you cannot compliment the same person twice in one week. With the compliment chain greeting activity, your students will be beaming as they walk into your classroom.

Final Thoughts

These are just some of the many activities you can do with your elementary school students to make them feel more comfortable and foster a sense of community within your classroom. With these great activities, your students will be hustling down the hall to make it to your class!

Written by David Anderson
Education World Contributor
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